Thursday, 10 November 2011


Popular Yoruba actress, IYABO OJO, is no doubt a big figure in the Nigerian entertainment industry, especially in Yoruba movie genre, when it comes to script interpretations. Iyabo, a single mother of two, is one diva, who has been dishing out her stuffs in very big and astonishing ways. This time around, the ever-ravishing actress just finished another blockbuster movie which we can authoritatively reveal to you that it is a must-watch movie for every home movie buffs. The movie is entitled Arinzo and it is very encapsulating. In a chat with charming Iyabo, a Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro graduate, at her residence in Lagos, she told GBOLAHAN ADETAYO, about her new movie, her life as a fashionista-cum-actress, and the truth behind what led to her robbery saga, among other interesting issues. Excerpts…
Can you briefly shed light on what has been happening to you?
Nothing much, it’s just that I have been busy for some time now, working on my new flick, which featured so many stars both Nigerians and Ghanaians, and I thank God that I was able to achieve everything before coming down to Lagos for the final touches. I shot the movie in Ghana, because it involved alien actors and Nollywood stars as well. I just had to fly my actors and crew down to Ghana so that we can have a great shoot of the movie. And we were there busy from one spot to another. We were very busy because we had to understudy them, the atmosphere and how they do things over there. We, in essence, had to use Ghanaian policemen to act the movie, and shortly after everything in Ghana, we came back to Lagos here to finish the remaining part of the movie and I give God the glory for seeing us through to the end of the production.
What is the title of the movie and the characters in it?
The title of the movie is Arinzo. It’s about a particular character who I think the girl in question is Arinola, her sobriquet is Arinzo, and she played a criminal in that movie. It’s an action-studded movie which is about two distinctive different criminals who later found that what they are doing is obviously wrong. The society definitely frowns at what they were perpetrating, and this is exactly what Iyabo Ojo as the producer of this movie is trying to project.
You featured some Ghanaians, why did you have to go that far; is it that Nigerian artistes are not competent enough for the movie?
I used more of Nigerian artistes, but the story has more to do with Ghanaians, and to make it real, that is why I decided to travel down to Ghana to understudy them and make use of their law enforcers to make the project a reality. The way they speak, dress and stuffs like that made me to travel down to Accra the capital of Ghana, and that was why I was able to get the real flesh of the movie. The likes of Aunty Ayo Mogaji, Bimbo Akintola, Tope Osoba, Toyin Aimaku and so on were all in their elements through out the length and breadth of the movie.
Is the movie a true life story?
Actually it is not, it’s a story that came from my mind, but I have had the inspiration for over two years and I have been working on it. I just conceptualized the idea because it happens to be my first crime movie ever. I have shot a lot of movies, but they are just action films, when I dialogued with my marketer, Corporate Pictures about it, he encouraged me and told me that they are expecting something good from me. I also spoke with my director, Uncle Abbey Lanre, Muka Ray, and others who gave their words of encouragement. I also got in touch with my spiritual father whom I call Alfa, and they all stood by me and for this reason I give thanks to them all.

What actually influenced the ideal of going deep into crime issue?
Thank you, you see; in the environment we are today, there are a lot of crimes going on. It means, if you do something bad, you should be expecting something bad in return and when you do something good, you should be expecting something good in return as well. It makes you to understand who you are. Your humble life determines the kind of future you will have, whether good or bad. You should not go into the unpleasant ways or into bad jobs because you derived from poor background. Though, the background one hails from sometimes determines who he or she becomes, but is not an excuse for you to engage in crime or to commit suicide. You have to do something good.
Should we imply that you are a victim of the story line?
I have never been in that category; I’m actually talking about those people outside there. Because I do not come from a bad background, I am only trying to pass message to people that because you have a problem, it does not mean you should turn a hoodlum or involve yourself in criminal activities, no matter the challenges that might have come your way. It behooves that you should always remember the son or daughter of whom you are.
When are we expecting the movie ARINZO in the market?
The film will storm the cinemas first before coming into the market. I will like everybody to go and watch it, and hi nolly wood Yoruba will hopefully take it around all the cinemas in Lagos, London, America and even in Malaysia and when the film is finally out, I’m sure you can’t do without getting a copy.
Some Nigerian artistes swap from movie to music, do you also have a flare for music?
Well, some years back, I was a chorister in my church but right now, I don’t really have time for that. As an actor, even if I decide not to act again, I have my personal plan for building a career and teach my very lovely kids and other kids in their ilk how to sing and dance, likewise choreography.
What do you mean about teaching kids?
Building up a school, this is going to be named as “IYABO’S OJO DANCING SCHOOL” on Saturdays. More so, dancing and singing will be well itemized for kids.
Aside acting, what other vocation are you engaged in?
I have a saloon and I also have a boutique as well.
Is there any unpleasant tale written by the media about actresses in Nigeria that bothers you?
Yes, that was when one of the Yoruba papers in Nigeria tried to damage my name. There was this another unknown Iyabo Ojo who actually a robber and when she was caught from the act, this so-called Yoruba paper did a very a bad story of mine and hid it at the back of their magazine; and wrote the mysterious story of the robber, then deliberately put it at the second page of the publication. On the cover page, they used an apt picture of me as well as a very telling headline “ Iyabo Ojo caught in the act of robbery”. It was very disgusting. I had to call my lawyer to sue them, following which the court told them to pay me some amount of money which they couldn’t afford to pay and later came to apologize. That was a most embarrassing story that media ever reported about me to date. Aside that, all the stories that have been on the pages of newspapers or magazines did not touch me, some times, I don’t see them, my friends individually and severally call me to tell me that I read this and that about you in the papers; how true is it? My response to them is always let them say.
What is your advice for upcoming artistes?
My advice for the upcoming artistes is that they should be focused in any thing they are doing, be hard-working; they should follow the right channel and never to look down on the elders in the industry, because they have been there before you and they will always be their leading light. Above all, they should always be very prayerful in whatever encounter they engaged themselves in.

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